First US botnet hacker to plead guilty

Newswire reports over the weekend suggest that an alleged hacker is set to plead guilty in Los Angeles to charges that he used a cluster of botnets to commit ID theft and fraud.

Reports suggest that John Schiefer, aged 26, of LA, will become the first person in the US to be successfully charged with using botnets to harvest personal data and then use that data to commit identity theft.

The US attorney's office in LA said on Friday that the charges against Schiefer - and his plea arrangement - will be revealed when the defendant makes his first appearance in front of the beak on November 28th.

The charges say that Schiefer, a computer security consultant, was part of the "botnet underground," a group that allegedly deployed spybot malware on as many as 250,000 computers, turning them into a powerful botnet network.

UPI newswire reports suggest that the botnet ring was capable of hacking into PayPal accounts and so accessing customer bank account details...